Filling the gaps

GREENFIELD — Nicole Gleason had reasons why she shouldn’t sign up for another commitment. Newly married and embarking on her first full year of teaching after covering a leave last school year, there’s plenty to fill her time. But when a group of women at Trinity Park United Methodist Church were talking about a new ministry forming, one that would help provide baby items to families who need them, something in her said, “I need to say yes to this,” she recalled. And so came to be the Giving Nursery, a work that — like the people it serves — was recently born. Donna Owen, clearinghouse and gap ministry coordinator for Love INC of Greater Hancock County, said she fields two to three requests each month for baby items such as car seats, cribs or toddler beds. “Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in need for these items,” Owen said. While there are ministries offering some clothing, such as Life Choices Care Center in Greenfield and the MOM House at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Cumberland, there didn’t seem to be a place to offer equipment or furniture unique to caring for infants. There also didn’t seem to be space to store donations from people interested in giving those items. Meanwhile, people from the women’s ministry team at Trinity Park and people from Love INC began talking to each other about needs in the community not met by other ministries. Vickie Schmidt, a Trinity Park member and Love INC volunteer, was part of that connection and has seen the need. On a recent Monday of volunteering, she received a request for a pack ‘n’ play. Schmidt said the addition the church has built in recent years makes it possible for the church to have a place to store items. Now, Love INC has a place to refer families in need of infant furniture or equipment. Families who are already working with an organization, such as Healthy Families or the Department of Agriculture’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, can be referred to Love INC. “We like to have it through a referral basis,” Owen said. Requests received are referred to Gleason, who sets up a time to meet at the storage area in the church. She tries to keep photos handy of what’s available and also tries to stay up-to-date on any safety recalls. Gleason said becoming involved in the ministry was important to her because she’s seen friends struggle with infertility and recently saw a close friend finally become pregnant. Seeing the outpouring of enthusiasm and gifts surrounding the friend’s long-awaited pregnancy made an impression on her and made her think about women facing a different set of reactions. For some, “Maybe everybody around them isn’t that excited,” Gleason said. The ministry is a chance to offer some enthusiasm for Baby’s arrival to those women, she said. “This is the love that we can show you.”

Daily Reporter staff writer

GREENFIELD — Nicole Gleason had reasons why she shouldn’t sign up for another commitment.

Newly married and embarking on her first full year of teaching after covering a leave last school year, there’s plenty to fill her time.

But when a group of women at Trinity Park United Methodist Church were talking about a new ministry forming, one that would help provide baby items to families who need them, something in her said, “I need to say yes to this,” she recalled.

And so came to be the Giving Nursery, a work that — like the people it serves — was recently born.

Donna Owen, clearinghouse and gap ministry coordinator for Love INC of Greater Hancock County, said she fields two to three requests each month for baby items such as car seats, cribs or toddler beds.

“Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in need for these items,” Owen said.

While there are ministries offering some clothing, such as Life Choices Care Center in Greenfield and the MOM House at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Cumberland, there didn’t seem to be a place to offer equipment or furniture unique to caring for infants. There also didn’t seem to be space to store donations from people interested in giving those items.

Meanwhile, people from the women’s ministry team at Trinity Park and people from Love INC began talking to each other about needs in the community not met by other ministries.

Vickie Schmidt, a Trinity Park member and Love INC volunteer, was part of that connection and has seen the need. On a recent Monday of volunteering, she received a request for a pack ‘n’ play.

Schmidt said the addition the church has built in recent years makes it possible for the church to have a place to store items.

Now, Love INC has a place to refer families in need of infant furniture or equipment. Families who are already working with an organization, such as Healthy Families or the Department of Agriculture’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, can be referred to Love INC.

“We like to have it through a referral basis,” Owen said.

Requests received are referred to Gleason, who sets up a time to meet at the storage area in the church. She tries to keep photos handy of what’s available and also tries to stay up-to-date on any safety recalls.

Gleason said becoming involved in the ministry was important to her because she’s seen friends struggle with infertility and recently saw a close friend finally become pregnant.

Seeing the outpouring of enthusiasm and gifts surrounding the friend’s long-awaited pregnancy made an impression on her and made her think about women facing a different set of reactions.

For some, “Maybe everybody around them isn’t that excited,” Gleason said. The ministry is a chance to offer some enthusiasm for Baby’s arrival to those women, she said.

“This is the love that we can show you.”

Donating items

The Giving Ministry seeks donations of new or gently used baby furniture or equipment to give to families who would otherwise struggle to pay for them. Contact Love INC at 317-468-6300 if wish to donate any of these items:

rocking chairs

bouncy seats

swings

bedding

high chairs

toys

cribs

diaper bags

sleep sacks

receiving blankets

car seats (new in box only)